Friday, December 18, 2015


The day before holiday break....40 minute classes....everyone sugared up. We needed something fun that did not involved watching a movie....

Please meet YETI-MAN.

Student Challenge: Please don't let Yeti-Man die.  He and his tribe are being relocated to an island in the tropics.  He needs a device that keeps him from actually touching the water.  You must use a minimum of 3 supplies to attach to Yeti-Man and he must be able to float without the saltwater touching him.  He must be able to breathe and we need to be able to see his face.

1. Name your Yeti-Man.
2. Build him a life saving device to help him travel through the water to his new home.
3. Take a group selfie with him and share with #savetheyetiman

It was fun watching them work together to figure out how to keep a sugar cube safe in the water. Some were successful while others had to say a sad goodbye to their Yetiman as he dissolved away.

Supporting the Lion's Club

I was amazed at the outpouring of support of the Coppell Lion's Club holiday food and toy drive.  Our students brought in so much to support those in need during the holiday season.  I was really proud of my classes for their contribution.  Thank you to everyone who brought in food and toys.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Student Showcase

Nausheen's sketch notes over plants captured the attention of Bulb Portfolios.  They just sent out an email to their entire distribution list showcasing Nausheen's awesome work, in addition to the link to several other students work.  I love companies that pay attention to student creations and give them credit for original work.  Great job Nausheen!

Visiting Thailand

Today we visited Thailand!  Student watched a short video with images from the area and then watched video clips left for us from students in Bangkok, Thailand describing the area in which they live.  Students researched the facts and competed to be the first group to identify the mystery location.

We left messages for the Thailand students to give them clues about our area as well.  Students will have the opportunity to leave questions for their new friends in Thailand to learn more about their area and culture.

A student from Bangkok, Thailand leaving us a message.
Students added to their travel journal information about the tropical rainforest of Thailand to share with our elementary friends that we are writing the book for.  We will be visiting Mockingbird Elementary in January to share our journals.

Our video messages back to Thailand friends describing our environment in Texas.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Amazing Animal Race

Goal:  For students to learn about endangered animals, conservation, and ecology in an engaging and entertaining way.

Overview: Students take a virtual journey around the world, game style, visiting 5 locations, which they have to identify based on clues.  Once identified, they are given roadblocks to test their knowledge of the area, animals, plants, biomes, etc. They also will receive detours, which will allow them to create something to teach others based on what they have learned.

I have attempted to get students from the locations we are "visiting" to provide clues about their location.  We are using FlipGrid as a place to leave video messages for each other, since the time difference is too difficult for asynchronous communication.  I am really excited for my kids to see the first of video messages left for us.

Game Play: Students are on teams for this journey.  Several opportunities are provided at each stop for teams to gain points.  I created a leaderboard to track points during the adventure to help keep students motivated and competitive.

Product Created: Groups will create a digital travel journal, using Book Creator, of their adventures to share with Mockingbird Elementary.  We will take our iPads to the kindergarten - 2nd grade classrooms and have the 7th graders share their journey with the littles, teaching them about biomes, ecology, and endangered animals.

Our big picture goal is to have our kids study endangered animals around the world for our Dallas Zoo project. Many of the detours we are doing along the way provide an opportunity for students to create visuals for the book.

If you want to join the journey, you can follow along in our iTunes U course, Life Science on your iPad or iPhone.

The section titled Ecology will be built over the next few weeks, adding as we go through our journey.  

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Dallas Zoo Project

Created by Paravallika
Work started this week on the Dallas Zoo Project.  Our first task is to design a food web that shows how energy is transferred through the animals ecosystem. Students researched the diet of their animal and created an original food web.  I was pretty impressed with some of their drawings.  

Next, students worked on writing paragraphs that described their animal and the types of adaptations they have to help them be successful in their environment.  

Finally, students put together a quick video clip that showed pictures of their animal that they took while we were at the Zoo on our field trip.  

Our book editors will filter though the work and decide what will be published and added to Through Their Eyes.  

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Mystery Skype

In honor of Global Collaboration Day, we decided to do a science themed Mystery Skype, thanks to the amazing idea from DianaLyn Perkins.  So each period of the day, students came in and Skyped with another classroom.  The goal was to try and identify the other schools location before the other school identified us.  
Questions could only have yes or no answers and they needed to be science themed.

We talked to Colorado, Massachusetts, Canada, California, and Virginia - 4 different time zones - all in one day.  

Students had different jobs during the cell -- Thanks to Mrs. Alaniz for these ideas!

Google Masters
Team Geography
Social Media
Crowd Control and Security

We ran a Todays Meet to send questions to the interviewers so the room stayed quiet (sort of).  Here is an example from one class.

The bloggers had to write a blog post about what was going on.  Here are a few examples excerpts from them.  Keep in mind they are 7th graders and this was their first time on a Mystery Skype.

"Today we are doing a Skype call with another class somewhere in the Americas! We are trying to guess where they live. Everyone has a job to do so that it goes smoothly. We are starting soon! I'm so excited! We are skyping with them right now! About to ask questions! They don't live in the U. S. They live near Toronto. This is so cool! I can't wait to figure out where they live! We are getting pretty close. They thought that we lived in Colorado! We found out that they lived in Ontario! Yes we won!"
Sydney P4

"Everyone is really excited to meet a mystery class! You can feel the anticipation in the room! We are starting to quiet down because the other class is going to call soon. The four  interviewers are receiving the call. The other class is still organizing itself, the teacher told us, so we will wait 5 or so minutes before she starts the Skype adventure. We can see four different students and we wait silently for them to talk. They also appear to be in a science lab. They tell us their names and we decide to ask them a question first.  We figure out that they live in the northern hemisphere,They don't live near a body of water, and have had a natural disaster in the last 5 years.Earthquakes and tornadoes are rare there for them. The Google team is plugging away. They live in the U.S, and have very harsh winters too. But alas, the girls guess that yes, we are from Texas! We have been found!"
Jordan P2

So proud of my East Broncos for today!! It was fun to see the excitement around and everyone laughing and having fun.